Top Score

Jeremy Soule Uses Kickstarter to Fund His First Symphony

Top Score - Skyrim Composer Jeremy Soule


April 01, 2013
Jeremy Soule
Jeremy Soule
Courtesy the artist

No one's ever used Kickstarter to fund a symphony. I can't hardly believe it. But it's true, and it makes me think that Kickstarter would've been pretty helpful for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

No one until Jeremy Soule, that is. Launched on Kickstarter on March 13, he'll call his Symphony No. 1 The Northerner.

Jeremy's written scores for some three dozen games, including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and its two predecessors, as well as Guild Wars and its successors.

Why use Kickstarter for a symphony?

Well, writing a symphony is hard. Really hard. And time-consuming, unless you're Haydn or Mozart. Honestly, though, a person could write one on a set of napkins. But who plays it, and once you find an ensemble to play it, where will they play? If you're fortunate enough to line up those things, what about a recording?

This is when Kickstarter ends up being incredibly helpful. With Jeremy's initial $10,000 goal already met, the additional funds (called a "stretch goal") are used for all of those other less-obvious considerations... human performers, a performing venue, recording sessions and special offers for contributors.

Through the site, Jeremy is able to get direct feedback from fans and contributors. In his first update on the site, he posed a question close to many of our hearts, "What does it mean to go north?"

Turns out, people from all around the world know exactly what it means. For some, it means home. For others, it means adventure. One comment simply said, "I'm Australian; pretty much everything is north for me."

Jeremy is a classical music nut, right at home discussing Bach's seemingly alien abilities with counterpoint, Beethoven's humanism and Mozart's predictable cadences.

You can listen to my conversation with Jeremy Soule on a special episode of Top Score from Classical MPR. Subscribe on iTunes.


  • Dragonborn — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Symphony No. 1 The Northerner — Jeremy Soule

  • Piano Sonata No. 14 Moonlight Sonata — Ludwig van Beethoven; Richard Goode, piano / Nonesuch 79328

  • Masser — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Symphony No. 31 Hornsignal, 1st movement — Franz Joseph Haydn; Christopher Hogwood, conductor; The Academy of Ancient Music / L'Oiseau-Lyre 430082

  • Guild Wars Factions Theme — Guild Wars Factions

  • Imperial Theme — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Standing Stones — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Main Theme — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

  • Steel On Steel — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Over the Shiverpeaks — Guild Wars Special Edition

  • Main Theme — SOCOM

  • Far Horizons — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Pines of Rome, Pines Near a Catacomb — Ottorino Respighi; Herbert von Karajan, conductor; Berlin Philharmonic / Deutsche Grammophone 449724

  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, 3rd movement — Johann Sebastian Bach; Trevor Pinnock, conductor; The English Concert / Archiv 410501

  • Symphony No. 3 Eroica, 3rd movement — Ludwig van Beethoven; Osmo Vanska, conductor; Minnesota Orchestra / Bis 1516

  • Symphony No. 36, 2nd movement; Neville Marriner, conductor; The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields / Philips 422502

  • Theme — Batman; Eric Kunzel, conductor; Cincinnati Pops / Telarc 80401

  • Flying Theme — E.T.; John Williams; John Williams, conductor; London Symphony Orchestra / Sony 62788

  • Frostfall — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Dawn — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Merchant Theme — Secret of Evermore

  • Sovngarde — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Watch the Skies — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim